Quick Announcement re: our Fall Conference and a Favor . . .

Hey all . . . a quick announcement about our fourth annual TheaterMaker Super Conference . . .

First, rest assured, it’s still happening (on November 14th and 15th to be exact).

Second, like most live events in 2020, we’re going virtual.

I was initially disappointed when I had to make this decision, but I quickly realized how many benefits there were from holding a virtual theater conference.

Most significantly, a virtual conference will make it easier to unite TheaterMakers all over the world without you having to spend any time or dollars on travel.  And we’ll be able to bring you speakers from everywhere as well.

Since we’re still designing and planning the event (and since this is our first virtual event), I need to ask you a favor. I have two questions for you that will take two minutes, and will help in how we structure and curate the event.  Can you help us out?

You can answer the questions here.

Thank you in advance and stay tuned to this space for the announcement of the conference details.

The Livestreams Are BACK! Same time, new schedule, NEW GUESTS!

And we are back!

Well, next week, anyway.  🙂

 

First, we are returning to The Producer’s Perspective LIVE starting next Tuesday, June 16 at 8 PM EDT.

Second, since even NYC herself has entered Phase I of its post-COVID opening, we’ve decided to move our show to WEEKLY. Since there is SO much good streamin’ content out there right now, this will give you (and me!) a chance to catch more of it.

We are in the process of rescheduling our guests from the last few weeks (including the Altar Boyz reunion) and adding new ones, so keep your eyes on THIS PAGE to see who’s coming up next (or just do this much easier thing.)

So, starting next week, you can catch me every TUESDAY at 8pm EDT (7pm CDT/ 6pm MDT/ 5pm PDT) on my Facebook, on my Twitter, on Broadway Podcast Network’s Youtube Channel, and on Broadway on Demand.

I’m proud to announce our first guest back will be the 20+ year Broadway veteran, Asmeret Ghebremichael, who made her Broadway debut in Footloose and went on to perform in Legally Blonde, Elf, Dreamgirls, and many more, as well as star in The Book of Mormon both on Broadway and in the West End.

I’ve known Asmeret for many of those twenty years myself . . . but learned more about her in the last few weeks after her powerful appearance on Josh Gad’s instagram and in this article she penned for Broadway news where she talked about her experiences over the last two decades of being Black and on Broadway. That video and that article were two of the biggest pieces of the listening I did last week, and did her words help me hear.

So, next Tuesday I want you to meet this fiercely talented woman who has become a change agent, because I have a feeling she’ll inspire you the way she inspired me.

 

See you NEXT Tuesday at 8pm EDT (7pm CDT/ 6pm MDT/ 5pm PDT). Follow me on Facebook to get notified as soon as we hit the “GO LIVE” button.

To see who’s coming up next, visit www.TheProducersPerspective.com/LIVE.

Is there a guest you think I should chat with? Email me at ken@theproducersperspective.com. 

We will not be RE-Opening.

There was a lot of talk about the “re-opening” of our country and of Broadway before George Floyd’s tragic murder.

But now, it has become painfully clear that a “re-opening” is not what our next step should be. We shouldn’t want a “re” of anything. We shouldn’t want to go back to the way it was before. We should want something new.

We should want an OPENING. Of eyes. Of hearts. Of minds. An opening of a new country and yes, a new business.

To do so requires a commitment. And I wanted to state my commitments and my goals publicly in this pledge.

For me, my office, and my work, we will NOT be re-opening. We will be opening. And part of my mission will include the following:

    • I vow to keep listening.
    • I vow to keep learning.
    • I vow to use the privilege I have to speak up and take action for others.
    • I vow to raise my child with a greater understanding of the world and what she can do to change it.
    • Or simply . . . I vow to do better.

How?

Well, I’m already brainstorming, concocting, and actioning things that I hope will make a difference, including how I can make sure there are Black people and/or people of color on the producing team of every show I do.

There’s a lot to do. And I hope you’ll join me.

But if all this seems overwhelming to you, or you don’t know what to do next, then try this:

The ‘philosophy of change’ I’ve found to be the most effective is The 1% Rule. Simply stated, it says to pick an area of your life you’d like to improve. Then, try to improve in that area just 1%, every day. That’s it. Only 1%. But EVERY SINGLE DAY.

The compounded results can be extraordinary

Now, take a moment . . . and imagine if everyone reading this post did the same thing.

I challenge you to adopt The 1% Rule to improve your understanding of racism and how you can help to eradicate it.  (Need an idea for your first 1%?  Here’s is where I started.)

I’ll end this blog having just started this journey, and by quoting some of the listening I did last week. Because this Leader actually gave me something we could all use right now . . . hope.

“As tragic as these past few weeks have been, as difficult and scary and uncertain as they’ve been, they’ve also been an incredible opportunity for people to be awakened to some of these underlying trends and they offer an opportunity for us to all work together.

When sometimes I feel despair, I just see what’s happening with young people all across the country, and the talent, and the voice, and the sophistication that they’re displaying and it makes me feel optimistic. It makes me feel as if this country’s going to get better.”

-Barack Obama

– – – – –

Want to get started now?  Here are three ways:

1.  A link to charities and resources is listed here.
2.  10 Black Theater Companies that could use your support now are listed here.
3.  Attend the Broadway Advocacy Coalition’s forum, BroadwayForBlackLivesMatter which begins on 6/10.  Click here for more.
– – – – –
Our livestream will return next Tuesday, June 16th. The first guest will be announced right here tomorrow!

Stuck somewhere for another 30 Days? (Who isn’t?) Try this.

Even though some areas of the country are loosening their restrictions a touch, it looks like we’re all still gonna be stuck inside for the next 30 days.

Sigh.

I know, I know, believe me.

And while it’s important to feel all the feelings that we’re ALL feeling about not being allowed to live like we used to live . . .

It’s also important to do what Stephen Schwartz said on my very second livestream:

“We can look at this as an opportunity – that we’ve been given a gift of time we might not ordinarily have.”

At the beginning of every month, we always send out a tweet about our 30 Day Script Challenge, the free program we created to help TheaterMakers get those great ideas out of your head and on to a page (because only then can they get on a stage).

But never before has this Challenge seemed more timely.

Because while things won’t be back to “normal” in 30 days, this gift of time is running out. So if you said to yourself, “I’m going to take advantage of this time and finally write that thing I’ve always wanted to write,” but still haven’t written it . . . sign up for the challenge. It’s free. And what’s the worst thing that could happen . . . you still don’t write it? You end up exactly where you are now?

Now, ask yourself . . . what’s the best thing that could happen? Seriously. What could happen when you finish the script?

The answer?

Anything.

So go for it. It’s free. It’s fun. And it works. Our 30 Day Script Challenge has produced more scripts than we can count from past participants.

The next 30 Day Script Challenge starts in just 3 days, on June 1st, so sign up today. And just think – by July 1st, you’ll have a completed first draft.

Take the Challenge here.

(Oh – we recently surveyed past participants on how to improve The Challenge – and we got some fantastic suggestions from “check-ins,” coaching, “what do I do when it’s done” action steps and more – so I hired Eric Webb, added some tech features, and more to create an “Ultimate” version which you can see here.)

Darren DeVerna: He made Broadway a whole lot brighter.

Broadway lost someone this week who most people outside of Broadway’s Inner Circle wouldn’t know.

But if you ask me, Darren DeVerna was one of the pillars that Broadway was built on, and one of the reasons it was still standing.

He wasn’t a bold-faced name, despite the fact that he knew everyone, having come into the biz as a stagehand in 1977 (and having been born into a stagehand royalty family), and that his company, PRG, supplied the lighting equipment for 75% of the shows on Broadway.

He was often called on for advice, for counsel, to mediate disagreements, for “relief” (reductions in rental costs when a show wasn’t doing well), investment, and much, much more.

And he always helped.  Somehow.  Always.

And don’t even get me started at how he relentlessly picked up the check, or sent the most glorious holiday gifts, or always wore a suit, or . . .

I could go on and on, but I guess it’s easier to say that he was Broadway’s finest gentleman.

He ended every one of the many lunches we had at Joe Allen’s or golf games at his club, with a giant bear hug (and he was a big guy), and a “Love you, pal!” and a “Keep grinding!” or a “Just tell me what you need and we will work it out!”

In fact, I just scrolled through the emails I got from him over the last year, after he got his diagnosis with cancer and was in treatment,  and this was just a sample of how he signed off:

“I may be a tad slow on the response on certain days but I will be there for you!!!”

“Love ya!”

“I will be back in the saddle shortly!”

We were supposed to have lunch right as this COVID nonsense was beginning, and now I have another reason to hate this virus.  Yeah, today, I’m truly angry.

But he wouldn’t want me to be. He’d just want me to keep grinding.  Especially now.

So I will.

Darren, you were a friend, a mentor, and an inspiration.  You taught me about lighting . . . but more importantly about loyalty.

And Broadway will never be the same without you.

Thank you for making it a better place to do business.

 

Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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